I am frequently asked about phantom pain. I am incredibly lucky because I don't suffer nearly as intensely as many of my friends, but when it occurs I am miserable. The past few days the not-so-phantom pain has made an unwelcome visit in my life. When it happens I am left with little recourse but to try to ride it out while keeping my own misery in check. It isn't always an easy task!
What does it feel like? Phantom pain is an individual experience and people feel and decipher the sensations differently. For me it feels as if somebody is pulling my toenail out with pliers while twisting counterclockwise. At the same time my ankle feels like it is being hit with a hammer while electricity is zapping the bottom of my foot. The pain intensifies at night, making sleep elusive. Of course, being sleep deprived only exacerbates the cycle.
Massage and a heating pad sometimes provides relief. I have also found that lying on my stomach with my short leg bent and tucked up against me as high as possible helps to alleviate the electric shocks. Other than those two hacks, I am forced to simply wait until the pain begins to wane.
Last night my phantom pain was miserable. I was tossing and turning much of the night, desperate to break the cycle. I keep reminding myself that I'm lucky, which is a difficult sell when you are dealing with a bout of pain. Hopefully tonight will be different, and my leg will return to normal. In the meantime, I'm hoping Timmy is happy with a lot of Polar Express on the television today because Momom is really tired.